George Allen Breaking Story...

I'm trying to get more details on this story. It looks like George Allen let his thuggish nature slip through the mask, and it looks like it's caught on video...

George Allen, I'm glad you're finally out of the closet as a racist. It must have been really hard to restrain yourself for all these years.

Tags: George Allen, Jim Webb, Senate, Virginia (all tags)

Comments

88 Comments

Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

holy shit!

by goplies 2006-08-14 10:48AM | 0 recs
HOLY JEEPERS BATMAN!

Somebody get the racist repellant?

by optimusprime 2006-08-14 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

He called an Indian American mukakah? That's it?  Are we sure that the only close match to that name is a monkey? Maybe it affects his Presidential aspirations. But seriously, will this have much of an effect on his senate chances?

I guess the tone of the video might be more illustrative. As an Indian American, it hasn't raised my blood pressure as much as Allen's other crap. Let us not celebrate in advancec.

by Pravin 2006-08-14 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Macaque. It's a racial slur, albeit not a very well known one.

by Bob Miller 2006-08-14 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Where is it well know?  Before I write about this I want to know something. I've been searching since this story broke and can't find anything.

Thanks.

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-14 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Here are a few links They're pretty consistent. Seems to be of mainly French and Belgium origin.

http://listofethnicslurs.quickseek.com/
http://dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/ethni c_slur#M
http://bigpedia.com/encyclopedia/Wop

by Bob Miller 2006-08-14 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

That's interesting cosidering dude's half French. Did you know that? Well, his mother is French.

I wonder if he can speak French, and how well.

by David Weman 2006-08-14 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

yeah that stuff about his mother lends credibility that he knew what he was saying

by bruh21 2006-08-14 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

at least on the level of having heard the word - probably he may not have known he was being 'racist' but that he was calling a name he had heard before when looking at an indian. that would be my guess

by bruh21 2006-08-14 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

"probably"? How do you know this?

Because, you know, there are all those "other words" for Blacks, and Jews, and Asians that aren't racial slurs at all.

Seriously, get real. This is a guy who grew up in Southern California and developed a fondness for the Confederacy. He's a sleazy racist dude, period.

Remember, he says, "Macaca, or whatever his name is..."

It doesn't matter what the kid's name is to Allen - that is the very definition of dehumanization, which is the nature of racism.

by jkdism 2006-08-14 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

i say probably because you don't have any basis for knowing for certain waht the hell is going on here. most of this is conjecture until we have more substance. so far i ahve seen things that let me know he is using it as a racist term.

i am leery to assume that he knew what he was saying was racists without proof that he did. now i am starting to read more context and feel more comfortable saying he was probably being racist.

what i am leery of doing is to turn every situation that i am told is 'racists' because someone else has decided it is. i learned that from the 'niggardly' incident a few years ago i n dc. I didn't know  what the word meant and went with someone else's definition and assumed someone was a racist. i learned by looking it up that he wasnt.

some of you want certainty for partisan emotional reasons. i won't certainty that he can't wiggle out of. for example knowing that his mother was french and that he would have known from her that its racists makes it more likely that he was using it for a racists reasons. knowing that he had used the term multiple times before and the reasons for using it- namely that he claimed the guy had a mohawk was a lie adds to the fact that he was being a racists. thats how i look at things. i  require proof rather than  pure emotions because i have learned the hard way my lesson with pure emotions.

i am a black guy by the way- so when i say this, trust me, its hard. i come from virginia too. i ahve long suspected allen is a racist. but i still wanted to know context. what some of you ahve a problem with is that some fo us want context. my advice is if you want to get this out there, you had better be prepared for folks like me who are open but uncertain. now i through other posters who are actually providing context i am becoming more convinced. however, you type of post in which i am suppose to go- allen is a republican or allen grew up a certain way so he is racists isn't context. knowing that this is a lsur that his mother would have known and maybe used is.

by bruh21 2006-08-14 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

ps

a friend at work- and i dont know if this is true,b ut it helps me to be careful of who i call racists on a particular statement, pointed out that howard kocell (sp??) lost his job for calling a black football player monkey but in fact the sports announceer used that term for all players regardless of race. this is the kind of thing that if true i dont jump to conclusions. sorry i am not willing to merely assumi ng its a racists comment with context. sorry that bothers some of you so much. piece of advice- if someone like me isn't sure, you can be sure others aren't and they aren't all motivated by racism

by bruh21 2006-08-14 02:29PM | 0 recs
Cossell thing

THere was  a show about Cossell and the poor guy supposedly called kids in his own family lil monkeys whenever they would play around.

It was just an unfortunate incident in his case. He was no racist.

by Pravin 2006-08-14 02:57PM | 0 recs
Which raises the interesting question

As to how the Hell Allen even knew that word?

by Goldfish 2006-08-14 10:04PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Although it might lock up his nomination as the Republican candidate.

by crazymoloch 2006-08-14 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

"Maybe it affects his Presidential aspirations. But seriously, will this have much of an effect on his senate chances? "

I am torn about whether or not this impacts this year's Sen race.  VA is not known for being very racially progressive but it did elect the only African-American Governor since reconstruction.  I want to see how this plays out.

It probably kills his Presidential campaign, though.  Even the Repubs are not stupid enough to nominate a guy on tape uttering racial slurs.

I lived in VA for a couple of years when Allen was Gov.  This guy is awful.

by John Mills 2006-08-14 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

its a kind of monkey, originating in the eastern hemisphere.

by JJCPA 2006-08-14 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

I am not sure this will have an impact on Virginia voters. This isn't something that historically they would have a context for understanding even if he did mean it the way peo are saying. It's not like when Oliver North talked about Old Virginee and everyone understood from that a historical context of racism that people knew. With this- it will take some explaining and I am not sure if it has the emotional impact

by bruh21 2006-08-14 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

PS

I am not saying peo shouldn't use it,b ut that I am not sure what impact it will have.

by bruh21 2006-08-14 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

When you have a video of him pointing it out, then a picture of Siddarth and/or an interview with him the comparisons to a monkey etc., will be damaging to moderate voters(who will decide the election).

by Chavez100 2006-08-14 11:18AM | 0 recs
please

Zzzzzzzzzzz. Like the media will give a shit.  It will probably gain him votes, in any event. At least he didn't dangle a noose or anything.  In a country where Rove skipped on exposing a CIA agent (and thanks again, Fitz) THIS will hurt Allen?  Are you on glue?

by tuffie 2006-08-14 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: please

if he used some reference that peo knew even in my home state it would matter a lot. other candidates have lost in my state and my state has always been conservative. the only real issue is whether peo will understand that he is being racist here

by bruh21 2006-08-14 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: please

In a close race where there are Hindustani's who vote for Republicans there can and will be an impact.  

by Chavez100 2006-08-14 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: please
My parents were born in India and moved here in the late 70s, and I was born and raised here in Illinois.
I'm not sure what Allen means by Makaka... if thats a reference to the monkey or just him making up a name that sounds of Indian decent, I dont really know, but either way its pretty offensive.
The part that really upsets me is that he says "Welcome to America." The story on WaPo says the young man was born and raised in Fairfax County. Allen's racist, ill-concieved notion that anyone who isnt white isnt a real American is offensive and hurtful. I was behind James Webb before, but now I really hope he kicks Allen's racist ass out the Senate door.
by AC4508 2006-08-14 12:08PM | 0 recs
That was the most offensive moment to me

Bad as the "makaka" slur is, that part of the message is basically "You don't have any place here, son, less'n we say you do."

Disgusting.

by boadicea 2006-08-14 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: That was the most offensive moment to me

Exactly right.

by PhiloTBG 2006-08-14 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: please

exactly....all minorities in the states know what he meant by the phrase, "Welcome to America".

by Chavez100 2006-08-14 12:38PM | 0 recs
"Welcome to America"

I'm an American Indian, and I knew what Webb was implying there.  Even being from a francophone household and thus understanding the meaning of the actual slur, I thought the implication of "you're not white, so you must be recent immigrant" far worse, particularly in light of the GOPs position on immigration (including calls to strip American-born children of their citizenship rights.)  

by MBW 2006-08-14 02:00PM | 0 recs
Allen, not Webb

by jsw 2006-08-14 06:52PM | 0 recs
Link to the wapo story
that you cite (it may already be here - if so, sorry - link here
by jc 2006-08-14 01:46PM | 0 recs
There have always ......

.... been rumors that George Allen is a closet racist. Rumors (about Republicans anyway) don't make it into the mainstream press unless there is SOME evidence to stoke the fire. This might be it. If this video is bad as I think it is, it will be my Christmas, new year's and birthday present all rolled into one! Allen was the only CREDIBLE candidate for the '08 nomination who I was truly afraid of. Knock him out the race and the republic might yet have hope.

by crazymoloch 2006-08-14 11:25AM | 0 recs
A noose and a Confederate Flag

as part of your office decor doesn't count as "closeted" by my definition. Even if they're not in the same room.

by boadicea 2006-08-14 12:25PM | 0 recs
Is Webb pumping this story?

I can't find it anywhere on the web but here and where you linked to.  This has to cause Allen some heartburn.

by dpANDREWS 2006-08-14 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Video is on the Post's website; it is bad, real bad.

by Foward with Feingold 2006-08-14 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

that is bad....

"Welcome to Virginia and the Real World"== This is white man's land buddy, look around and this is who you are fighting against.

by Chavez100 2006-08-14 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Northern Virginia is diverse.  He already had the racist vote locked up so this won't help him.

by FishOutofWater 2006-08-14 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

"I'm not sure what Allen means by Makaka"

it's just an idiotic, 'i bet you have a funny name that's not bill or steve' kind of comment to make; if the gentlemen in question was african-american, i'd bet george would've opted for 'leeroy' or perhaps something else that he thinks sounds like ebonics.  

"Although it might lock up his nomination as the Republican candidate."

exactly

by big in japan 2006-08-14 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

and, unless there was a macaque featured in a 'dukes of hazzard' or 'f troop' episode, i'd bet that george allen had no idea what a macaque was when he made that comment.

by big in japan 2006-08-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

His mother was French. Allen grew up to be a good li'l racist. He knew what he was talking about.

by jkdism 2006-08-14 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

i don't disagree that he knew it was a slur, i just don't think he knew the etymology of the slur, considering he used a north african slur on someone of south asian ancestry.  george is just a good ol boy, never meaning no harm...

by big in japan 2006-08-14 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

"Macaca" is a genus of monkey. It is a scientific term. The species macaca mulatta, or rhesus monkey, is a member of that genus. Rhesus monkeys are used extensively in scientific experiments. Most medical and biological researchers are familiar with this.

Senators who vote against stem cell research may also have a passing familiarity with the term...

by billybob 2006-08-14 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

I cannot predict how the video will play and I cannot vouch or criticize others on how they perceive the video. My perception is that the handheld shot has a high emotional content and it shows a rude public official directing snarls and insults at an individual entitled to be there.  George Allen shows himself to be a world class classless individual who believes Virginians are of a certain quality who will see through his not so subtle message to elect him. He may be right.  

by RAULC 2006-08-14 12:29PM | 0 recs
Create a really hard-hitting ad

split screen.

one side, Allen says what he says.  On the other side, you have Siddarth.

When Allen says "Mukaque" on the other side flash from Siddarth to a picture of a Macaque, and underneath this the dictionary definition:

ma·caque   Audio pronunciation of "macaque" ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (m-kk, -käk)
Any of several short-tailed monkeys of the genus Macaca of southeast Asia, Japan, Gibraltar, and northern Africa.

Then flash back to Siddarth.

Then, as he continues with "Welcome to America"
on the other side of the screen flash "Siddarth was born in (town) Virginia in (year of birth).

Finish up with either voice or text,

"is this the type of person you want as Governor?"

by jc 2006-08-14 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Create a really hard-hitting ad

I like it.

I think he's running for Senate, actually. He's a former governor. (As far as I know....)

by forecaster15 2006-08-14 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Create a really hard-hitting ad

Oops!

too true...

by jc 2006-08-14 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...
Well Felix has never been the sharpest tool in the shed and he shows it here.  The smarmy attitude alone is enough to make you throw up but as the episode goes along he several times mentions "Makaka's" opponent.  Suffice it to say the young man isn't running for anything and what Felix really was refering to was his own opponent, Jim Webb.
George Allen: His porch lights are on, but I don't believe there's anybody home.
by Demo Dan in Dayton 2006-08-14 12:38PM | 0 recs
It was bad ...... probably not enough to hurt him

Reminds me of Biden's comments about Seven-Eleven. Both were trying to be funny and said something moderately stupid.

by Cleveland John 2006-08-14 12:40PM | 0 recs
How to frame this

As someone who laughed at Biden's attempt to pander to the Indian community, I can say Biden was not being exclusive of Indian Americans. And I dislike Biden normally. So I have no reason to prop him up. It was not even as clumsy as Hillary's lame attempt at humor (some silly Gandhi joke in St. Louis).

Webb's people will be making a BIG mistake if they hype up the Makaka reference. The word doesn't sound racist enough to give it enough traction in a state like VA. What they need to do is use that word AS A PART OF a trend exhibited by George Allen, a trend that includes something as undeniably offensive as the stereotype that an Indian or Chinese American is not really American. (Any Indian-American born here can testify to the annoyance one feels when someone asks you where you are from  or what your nationality is instead of what your national or ethnic origin is). Allen, being a seasoned politician shows that he does not consider Indian Americans real americans.

Talk about the Welcome to America shit as much as the Macaca shit and show a trend with his past utterances.

by Pravin 2006-08-15 03:58AM | 0 recs
I agree BUT

can it be MADE to look really bad?  

The other side does it all the time - twist a vague comment into something sinister.

Don't know if we want to play it that way, but the possibility is certainly there.  Get a good ad producer on the case.

by jc 2006-08-14 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

This episode might effect his vote totals in Northern Virginia, but for the rest of the State it will most likely wash.

I can't help but have a "so what" reaction to this, yeah it proves that Allen's a bigot, but anyone in Virginia whose paid attention since Allen came into the spotlight knew that already.

by bjschmid 2006-08-14 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Agreed.  My guess is this probably hurts his Pres ambitions more than his re-election although I would love Jim Webb to prove me wrong.

by John Mills 2006-08-14 01:12PM | 0 recs
I pulled together

a whole bunch of examples from the internet where 'macaca' or 'macaque' is being used by White Supremacists and the like.

I put it up on Frameshop, but cross-posted here in the diaries.  If anyone has a direct contact with the Webb campaign,  please let them know it is available to them as a resource should they want to use it.

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-14 01:10PM | 0 recs
more...

so, turns out that "macaca" is an ethnic slur in Tunisia and Allen's mother is French Tunisian - that explains where he got the slur from.

Also, Raisingkaine has a picture of the staffer up - no mohawk!

by VirginiaDem 2006-08-14 01:13PM | 0 recs
Saw the video

If they casually play this video, I doubt it will offend the typical Allen supporter. We Indians have a pretty thick skin compared to many other minorities. I do not know a single Indian who was even remotely offended by Biden's comments which were more intended to pander rather than offend.

But even this video is not an automatic killer for Miller's chances. Coulter indulged in much worse rhetoric and she is lionized by many on the right. So there would have to be some effort to get my community riled up by this video. But it can be done. A lot of Indian doctors tend to be republicans. Maybe the Indians in the Webb campaign can use this to wake up the Indian community that supports Miller or tend not to vote at all.

You know what is going to rile the younger generation more than the Makaka comment - the "welcome to america" reference. Also his smugness in the video is on full display.

by Pravin 2006-08-14 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw the video

well but some right wingers have begun to distances themselves from him apparently based on the totality of his comments

by bruh21 2006-08-14 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw the video

Take a look at the stuff I just pulled together (in the diaries, too).  I think people will be offended.  

This is White Supremacist vocab...

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-14 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw the video

Miller?

You mean George Allen, right?

by HellofaSandwich 2006-08-14 01:29PM | 0 recs
Yea, not Miller

Heh heh. I wish we had an edit function.

The more I think about it, I think the more of a deal should be made about his smugness and condescension as a window to his soul more than the makaka reference itself. We gotta sell the totality of that act.

by Pravin 2006-08-14 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw the video

Coulter is not an elected US Senator.  Allen is.

by hotshotxi 2006-08-14 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw the video

"So there would have to be some effort to get my community riled up by this video."

____

Unfortunately, this is true -- as I have seen in my experiences with my community.  It is frustrating to say the least

The wealthy Indian-American Republicans will conveniently ignore the video; it will only get in the way of their own self interest.

by v2aggie2 2006-08-14 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Holy shit, that's incredible!  When is the last time you heard such openly racist remarks uttered by a politician?

Well I wasn't a big fan of Jim Webb, but I'm suddenly feeling a lot more motivated to act on this race.

by hotshotxi 2006-08-14 01:55PM | 0 recs
I really don't know

You have to go from "Mukaka" to "macaque". Sure, it's classless and somewhat xenophobic and childish to call someone with a non-Western name a gibberish name, but in itself it's not impressively racist.

And I'm not convinced that Allen is clever enough to know from macaques.

And the "Welcome to America, welcome to our state" comment may have been about race, but from the context it definitely he seemed to be saying "we rural Republicans are real Americans, not you liberal city-folk Democrats".

So he comes off as a pompous right-wing jerk, not an out-and-out racist.

But maybe I'm giving him too much credit.

by The Cunctator 2006-08-14 01:55PM | 0 recs
it's spelled 'mucaca'

and I found it being used all over the place:

Frameshop:  'Mucaca' or 'Mucaque'

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-14 02:03PM | 0 recs
macaca sylvanus= Barbary Macaque

... a monkey native to Tunisia.

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-901 3293

Could Allen have learned the word from his Tunisian mother-- a word a European Tunisian might have used to refer to both a monkey and to a dark-skinned person?

by bernalman 2006-08-14 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Smarmy pseudo subtlety is the standard operating procedure for self conscious stealth racists and such. They think they are being cute. Sometimes it can be very difficult to decode whether you have a  self conscious stealth racist being cute, or just some unfortunate person making a bad choice of words. It definitely does become an issue of statistical summation. You have to look at the whole picture.

by blues 2006-08-14 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Calling the cameraman "Mukaka" is akin to calling an Italian "Guido".  If you want to wonder about Allen's intent, keep in mind the other things he said:  "Welcome to America", "Hollywood types", "inside the beltway" - all code for pandering to rural whites.  

I wouldn't advise getting bogged down in debating whether this is "racist" or not.  It clearly shows Allen to be an ass.  

Of course, the sitting VP told a Senator to go F himself on the Senate floor, so we already know civility isn't to terribly important to Republicans.

by RickD 2006-08-14 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Let's go through the levels of being offensive.  In a civil society, a normal political figure would go up to the cameraman and get his name.  You really don't want to add fuel to the fire by making him have a deep personal reason to find something truly embarrassing.  You wouldn't just call out "Joe" even.  On that first level he is just plain rude.  

Then he makes up a name like a Kindergarten taunt. Of course it's racist.  I remember some of the taunts thrown at the first unfortunate Black boy at my school before integration. I'm Southern.

In the order of good manners of the "Old South" you can kick up but you can't kick down.  He could say to Webb's face that he was a scoundrel, but he has to be polite to a waiter, for example.  Even vile politicians follow this principle.  As a matter of fact, if he doesn't know that, it kind of makes me think maybe George Allen isn't really Southern. (wink, wink)

My husband is from Virginia.  I asked him if people would be dismayed by what Allen said, and he said that he would hope so.

by prince myshkin 2006-08-14 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

first, let me say I am now convinced he was using it a racial slur. why? because someone bothered to explain the context. that he has a tunsian mother who would have known the language (which I didn't know) and as a Virginian I wouldn't know. What many of you need to undrestand is that there aren't a lot of Indians in southern Virginia. So, there needs to be context. Some over a D Kos rather than ridicule actually bothered to explain why this is racists. That the term is Tunsian and that this is how he would have picked up the language. That he is claiming that he meant mohawk when the kid is not sporting a mohawk. Etc. Those provide context which a video alone don't do.

Moreover, t he comment about welcome to America was said right after he was speaking about Webb so not knowing or understanding why Allen would choose a word like mukaka to refer to an indidan guy- a term I couldn't understand why he would know, I assumed that phrase was referencing arrogantly and rudely that Webb didn't represent the 'real america."

I assumed Allen wouldn't be stupid enough to use language towards a guy who he could see what video taping him, who he knew was with the opposition etc, but of the factors- how would he know to use this term and the fact he used it on more than one occasion are what have convinced me.

I let a north east liberal office mate listen tot he video- giving it your spin,a nd he said he didn't see how it was racist. I think when explaining its important know that framing is important b/c a lot of context is being lost in the midst of people saying they are offended without giving context.

by bruh21 2006-08-14 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

no- unlike you and others he didn't a) knowt he meaning of the word b) know that allen would know the meaning etc. rather than explaining it, I find that many of you are running with y our offense and then judging others who dont immediately know what you know. i am sure if i provide him the context that i now know he will understand. this is about how you framing this not about everyone who doesn't 'get' the meaning right away being racists. i didn't know for example how allen would even know the word, but now t hat i have heard about his mother i have more reason to believe he knew exactly what he was saying rather than using a name that he thought was the persons real name. which was one explaination i saw esle where. a lot of racist terms i didnt even know before moving from t he south to the northeast. there aren't many asians were i grew up. not many ethnic white groups either. so i never heard the terms. my office  mate had never heard the term macaca and so he wasn't sure how it was racist. also what helps is the transcript because it shows that he said macaca welcome to america which again on seeing the video was a little confused because he also mentioned webb. look all i am saying to you is before you get offended that peo dont right atway assume racism doesn't mean they wont find it racist if you actually bother to explain context.

by bruh21 2006-08-14 03:45PM | 0 recs
for those of you who pretend you don't get it

Imagine a group of black politicians and a mostly black audience, and a white cameraman shows up.  

So one of the black politicians immediately decides to single out the cameraman, and says, "Now look at Whitey over there, or whatever his name is....."

Are you telling me this would be seen as the politician honestly "guessing at" the cameraman's name and trying to be "friendly"?  On what planet?

by baked potato 2006-08-14 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: for those of you who pretend you don't get it

True, but you lose something when you have to explain to people why/how it's a slur. At least 95% of Americans never heard of "macaca" -including me. Makes for a poor sound bite.  

by Cleveland John 2006-08-14 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: for those of you who pretend you don't get it

I have been trying to explain that up thread and d kos to no avail. People don't seem to get that its not enough to put the video on and say now isn't that offensive. I can see this being a good commercial- if they do the basic framing- but it would be meaningless with out it.

by bruh21 2006-08-14 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: for those of you who pretend you don't get it

PS I have donated money to Webb- rather than arguing about this I think the effort should be on that.

by bruh21 2006-08-14 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: for those of you who pretend you don't get it

Well said -- I did the same today

by v2aggie2 2006-08-14 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Lucas- I just showed the same video to someone else- she's black, clearly supports racial causes etc. I am also black by the way. The point is that looking at the video without dissecting it she didn't get what was occuring. I explained to her what mukaka means- that its the equivalent of nigger and that it was a term used by Tunsians where Allen's mother was from. Only then did she get it. You may get it. good for you. but my comments aren't about you. it's about folks like me who aren't racist and didn't get it. again its simply put about framing.s aying well 'its obvious' what he meant isn't fruitful when people l istening to it are telling you they are confused. i think the worst element of the being progressive is that people expect others to simply 'get it' just because they get it. i will give you an off topic example- the office mate i mention is a super environmentalist. he wants to work in this area. he was explaining something i didnt know about enviro issues one day and i was shocked to hear what he was saying because i simply didnt know the info. dont confuse the fact that peo dont understand with where their sympathies lie. give peo the benefit of the doubt and actually frame it in a way they can understand. as i did with my office mate- and when i did she got the speech in context and said it was offensive. your way- you would have lost her b/c she didn't get it immediately w/o context.

by bruh21 2006-08-14 04:22PM | 0 recs
thank god you don't get it

that means you and you're friend are not a white supremacists.  Mazel tov.

Seriously...I did a search for this word on google and I came up with some pretty nasty stuff--all roads lead to white sepremacy web sites where this term gets tossed around like any other heinous term.  You may not know it--neither did I.  But somebody obviously did.  

The question is not whether we were immediately offended.  The question is:  Was Allen using this term--on purpose or in some slip of self-control--to communicate with people who do know what it means.  And even if he was just using a term that his mom used--same thing.  

We don't need to get inside Allen's head, we just need to find out whether or not this is a racial slur.  It is.  He used it.  The how and why can come later. For now, we just tie this incident to Allen--like a chain around his neck.

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-14 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: thank god you don't get it

are you being deliberately obtuse? Where the fuck do I say we need to get inside of Allen's head? Where the fuck do I say any of the stuff you just wrote. All I said was that in framing it you need to make it clear to people why these terms are offensive, and why its is unlikely that allen didn't inadvertantly use a term that is racist. That's all. That's it. If you want to argue against something I didn't say- feel free, but don't pretend I said it. if you expect people to google something just because you can then you aren't being realistic. Messaging, framing, is about clarifying for the voter so that they don't have to dissect and analyze. They don't have to figure out the argument that you are trying to make. In order to help my friend understand- all I had to do was say to her "Mukaka is a term that is used in Tunisia that is the equivalent of 'nigger.' and Allen's mother is from there." Once she heard that and saw the video she got immediately why it was not just offensive but racist. You are so busy arguing what you perceive as my position that you really aren't understanding it.

by bruh21 2006-08-14 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: thank god you don't get it

Nobody's being obtuse. I thought I was being chatty.  Yeesh.  I have no idea why people get so tense in these MyDD threads. Certainly not my intention to make that happen.  

If that's how you think it should be framed...run with it.  

I just noticed that the post I put up on Frameshop has passed 10,000 hits since 6pm and still going strong.  So, I think my having said, "'Macaca' is a word White Supremacists use" was a good way to frame it. That seems to be working for both the VA and national bloggers who all seem to think that their readers will get what's going when presented with it that way.  I didn't even mention the video, and frankly--I don't think the video will be part of the story by this time tomorrow.   All I did was say, "I wonder if I'll find that word Allen used over here...on a White Supremacist site.  Bingo!"   The rest is up to the Webb camaign.

'Macaca' is like 'nigger' to Tunisians--I can see that working, too.  Go for it.

And no hard feelings, bruh21.  Just trying to enjoy a blog discussion in between washing the dishes and folding laundry...

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-14 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

At best the remark was mindless, but I don't consider Allen a real smart dude.  Certainly his votes demonstrate that he doesn't represent regular Virginians and he doesn't think about how they will affect Virginians.  He votes with the pres 97% of the time for the wealthy and big business.  As a Virginian who knows a little bit about the kind of folks who live in Breaks, I doubt Allen ever represents their interests.  Virginia deserves a new senator and while I live far away now, I intend to give financial support to Jim Webb.

by cando 2006-08-14 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

At best the remark was mindless, but I don't consider Allen a real smart dude.  Certainly his votes demonstrate that he doesn't represent regular Virginians and he doesn't think about how they will affect Virginians.  He votes with the pres 97% of the time for the wealthy and big business.  As a Virginian who knows a little bit about the kind of folks who live in Breaks, I doubt Allen ever represents their interests.  Virginia deserves a new senator and while I live far away now, I intend to give financial support to Jim Webb.

by cando 2006-08-14 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

actually with the facts I know now I consider it racists. To say that he randomly used a term (that if the facts are correct) that is used to offend the particular group of which the cameraman is a part, and is a term that comes specifically from Allen's mother's country stretches credibility

by bruh21 2006-08-14 05:47PM | 0 recs
Allen is a racist...


   ...but that's a big reason he's so popular in downstate Virginia.

  Say what you will about the Southern Strategy, but IT WORKS. It gets people voting Republican who have no business doing so. And race-baiting is a huge part of the equation.

  So I doubt this video will hurt him all that much....

by Master Jack 2006-08-14 05:38PM | 0 recs
I E-Mailed WaPo and They Listened?!

If I may complain just a little -- we had a consensus on what the word "makkak" meant by roughly 1515 EDT, and still this thread has a multitude of posts by people saying macaque is a kind of monkey (which it is), and other musings which were a total waste of disk space, bandwidth, and whose only contribution was to increase the universe's entropy.

However, it's clear that our collective "google" prowess is far better than WaPo's. Their article had no reference to a racial slur, almost made it sound like Allen was trying to clear his throat. So I e-mailed WaPo with a link to the "slur list."

HOLY MOLY. Just re-checked the WaPo article. An excerpt: "In some European cultures, macaca is also considered a racial slur against African immigrants, according to several Web sites that track ethnic slurs."

OK. Now someone has to plant the bug in WaPo's ear that Allen's mother would have known (and obviously used) that word.
 

by Bob Miller 2006-08-14 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I E-Mailed WaPo and They Listened?!

Have you considered faith healing?

by FishOutofWater 2006-08-14 08:34PM | 0 recs
As an Indian-American

who watched the video, what struck me was not so much the slur, macacca, but Allen's condescending tone and his obliviousness to the fact that, heaven forbid, someone of Indian descent was actually born in the ol' USA.

I've been the target of such behavior, though not from a US Senator.

For the record, I was born in the States.
Yet, there are people who ask me whether my parents live in the USA.

I just tell them that they've been here longer than I have.

by v2aggie2 2006-08-14 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: As an Indian-American

Yep, I made a similar comment elsewhere in the thread. The Welcome to America stuff bothered me more. It is a subtle power play I have noticed a few whites attempt in a condescending way.

Epithets dont bother many Indians. The key here, as you seem to be bothered by too, is the xenophobia more than the idiotic childish racist comment which could be interpreted by the general public more of a goofy kind of prejudice more than a sinister one.

by Pravin 2006-08-15 04:38AM | 0 recs
Re: George Allen Breaking Story...

Does that mean anybody can make such remark and we ignore it. Typical racist remarks followed by explanation: Oh It was a joke or we were kidding around.

by mjbaad 2006-08-15 01:27PM | 0 recs
George Allen is Jewish

As a Jewish-American, Senator George Allen should have shown a higher degree of sensitivity and care with regards to racist conduct. His mother, Henrietta Lumbroso, was a Jewish immigrant of Tunisian/Italian/French background.

Trying to portray himself as a WASPY "good old boy" from Virginia just shows how dishonest, elitist, and racist he actually is.

by Machaca Man 2006-08-17 06:59AM | 0 recs

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